WRITTEN BY: Chad Gelfand
It’s been quite the tumultuous week for Liam Neeson. The Irish actor in an interview with The Independent on Monday revealed a fantasy that he had 40 years ago, fantasizing about murdering a black man in retribution for the rape of his friend. Neeson even admitted that he went as far as going to areas in town that were predominately and looking for a reason to react violently.
According to The Independent, Neeson said, “And I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [Neeson apparently gestured air quotes with his fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could … kill him.”
The movie that Neeson is currently promoting Cold Pursuit is about a father who avenges the death of his son. Neeson in his interview with The Independent’s Clémence Michallon he was asked about how he tapped into the mentality of revenge, and he responded with the story above.
Neeson in the interview with Michallon also expressed regret with actions stating that “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” and how “God forbid. It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f–k are you doing,’ you know?”
Neeson’s statements still sparked outrage on social media with many people viewing Neeson’s statements as racist due to his targeting of black men.
New York Times Columnist and author Charles M. Blow took to Twitter to admonish Neeson, feeling as though even his expression of remorse was not enough to get him off the hook “#LiamNeeson you can thank whatever gods there may be that I’m on book leave and not writing a column right now. I would clear all this up. You are no hero for your admission. You are a representative of racial terror.”
Neeson has had some fellow actors come to his defense including actress and co-star in the 2017 film Widows Michelle Rodriguez pointed to Neeson’s romantic scene with actress Viola Davis, who is black, in the film as evidence that Neeson isn’t racist.
“Dude, have you watched Widows?” Rodriguez said at the mfAR Gala New York on Wednesday night. “His tongue was so far down Viola Davis’s throat. You can’t call him a racist ever. Racists don’t make out with the race that they hate.”
After an attempt at damage control with a TODAY Show appearance, Neeson has kept a low profile canceling a scheduled appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the premiere of his upcoming film, Cold Pursuit.